Winter feared deadly for dog sterilization

Experts press alarm button, seek pause

M HYDERI

Srinagar, Nov 16: Kashmir’s harsh Himalayan winter can prove deadly for stray dogs undergoing sterilization at state-of-the-art sterilization facility at Shuhama even as experts have sought immediate halt on the surgical procedures till the weather improves by spring of new year or the government provides heating arrangements at the pound.

THE FEARS  
 Experts said given the dip in temperature, which will further drop in the coming weeks, stray dogs couldn’t survive the sterilization knife. A senior vet said: “There’s every possibility that stray dogs won’t survive sterilization in the ongoing weather conditions when winter has just arrived than to talk of coming months when it will be literally icy.”
 For sterilization, which the government looks at as sole remedy to get rid of dog menace in the City with around one lakh stray packs, the canines have to be administered anaesthesia. And this is exactly where, the experts say, the trouble erupts.
 “Anaesthesia leads to hypothermia and there’s every possibility that the animal will die,” said a senior vet requesting not to be named.
 Questioning the wisdom of officials who have been letting the sterilization go on in these weather conditions, he said: “Even a fresher in the field of veterinary sciences is aware that dogs cannot survive anaesthesia in prevalent cold conditions.”
 With the sterilization going on, the experts did not rule out death of  impounded dogs. They said if government was so keen to continue with the sterilization during winters, there should have been adequate heating arrangements at the pound.  But given the dearth of such facilities even at hospitals for humans, keeping the impounded stray dogs warm doesn’t seem possible.

THE ALLEGATIONS
 Sources said for the past few weeks the SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) which is undertaking the sterilizations has been allegedly “experimenting on the dogs.”
 “Many poor animals have died,” said an insider adding that he has enough evidence to expose the “ill-treatment” of dogs at the pound, being allegedly kept unhygienic though the government pumped in over Rs 10 million on construction of the facility at the picturesque locale.

SKUAST REFUTES
 The SKUAST officials, on the other hand, refuted the allegations saying “adequate care was being taken to sterilize dogs.” “We don’t need any guidance from a  person who doesn’t  even know the ABC of veterinary but has interests worth millions at stake,” said a senior SKUAST vet adding the varsity was already aware of the winter and that the sterilization was being halted.
 Countering allegations he said “some dog mafia eyeing to bag sterilization wants to tarnish the varsity image for personal gains.”
 He however candidly admitted the shortage of requisite infrastructure to continue with the sterilization.

BOTTOMLINE
But then, who is credible to hold the audit for facilities being provided to sterilize stray dogs or the allegedly ill treatment they are meted? And what happened to the starting of a parallel sterilization unit at Tengpora? Who is delaying the measures and who is getting benefited? Questions remain as around a dozen people get bitten by dogs almost everyday in the City.
(To be concluded)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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